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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Putting Things Right

We are deeply in debt. Of course we are – we have been spending at an unprecedented rate. The government, especially under Gordon Brown, spent more than it took in. The coalition had to address Labour mismanagement – comme toujours. They are trying to reduce our annual deficits, so far a long way from zero; so we still have a backlog of debt, which is still growing. Any company which behaved like this would be facing ruin – and probably prosecution.

We have to either increase income, by raising taxes (too high already) or cut expenditure. It is plain that we should do the latter; but this is politically problematic – ‘austerity’ is not popular. The new Greek government got itself elected by promising to end austerity. Greece should be renamed La-la Land. The Greeks are facing an abyss.

We and the Greeks got into these messes by ignoring economic reality. The politicians calculated that by the time the birds returned to the roost they would be long gone. O tempora, o mores.

‘Progressive’ politicians think that governments should ‘do good’ whenever and wherever they can. It is plain that they should do less. Everything they do is now is a response to the chaos they themselves have caused. They struggle vainly to put things right. Would that they had done less.

A stroll around Whitehall would reveal to a ten-year-old vast expenditures that ought to be slashed to the bone, or simply discontinued. Of course, our real masters (the bureaucrats) would kick and scream and many of the recipients of hand-outs would have a fit.

We need a constitutional rule that budgets should always be balanced (except, perhaps, in time of war). We also need ‘fair’ (and low) taxation, an end to progressive tax rates. I would like the cabinet and the top mandarins to be given 48 hours to make the necessary cuts or face execution. That would concentrate their minds.

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